WASHINGTON — President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, gave White House reporters and photographers the slip, going out privately Sunday night to celebrate the First Lady's 65th birthday at a posh restaurant.
Even Reagan's senior aides were kept in the dark about his trip until after he'd left the executive mansion.
"We didn't know it until after he was out," presidential spokesman Larry Speakes said today. "They wanted it to be private."
Reagan and his wife dined at the Jockey Club, less than a mile from the White House, with Charles Z. Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency, and his wife, who are longtime friends.
Usually when the Reagans leave the White House, they are driven in a motorcade that includes 15 to 20 vehicles, including police and Secret Service escorts, staff cars, and two vans carrying reporters, photographers and cameramen.
To maintain secrecy Sunday night, they went out in a five-car motorcade that included two unmarked police escorts, a Secret Service follow car, the presidential limousine and a backup limousine.